Friday, 29 April 2011

Animation Research

Stop motion is an animation method used to make objects appear to move. The object is photographed and then moved repeatedly building a series of frames finally the photographs are played in order and the object appears to move. One of the most popular forms of stop motion is clay animation or clay-mation a good example of this is Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit. The history of stop motion animation an be dated back to a 1898 animation called The Humpty Dumpty Circus created by Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton in which a toy circus comes to life. Over the years stop motion techniques have developed and its popularity has grown.

Nick Park was born December 6th 1958 he is a contemporary English filmmaker of stop motion animation and is possibly known best for his Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep creations. Park has been nominated 6 times for and Academy Award and won four with Creature Comforts (1989), The Wrong Trousers (1993), A Close Shave (1995) and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005).

As a child I grew up watching Wallace and Gromit amongst other animations but until recently never understood the strenuous repetition and technical excellence involved in creating such pieces. I have always found Park’s work to be delightful and charming due to quirky animations and humorous context. I think my favorite of parks creations is Creature Comforts. For this series Park interviewed and recorded members of the public and reproduced the speech in animated animals. I think Creature Comforts works particularly well because of its innocent nature and comical interviews.

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